This was a sloppy affair, filled with bodies hitting the floor, loose balls, and clanged jumpers. But between Brook Lopez’s hands made of fire and Deron Williams’s free throws, the Nets kept themselves alive for another day.
It wasn’t clear until the final seconds. Leading by three with 3.2 seconds left, Brook Lopez threw a rough pass that was deflected by the Hornets off of Deron Williams’s hands. But Lopez deflected the Hornets’ inbounds pass on their last gasp to close the night.
Still in the playoff race!
The stats: 34 PTS, 16-26 FG, 10 REB, 3 BLK, GAME-SAVING DEFLECTION
Catalyst. Dominator. Deflector. These are all Lopez’s future Comic Book Superhero names when this game gets its own issue. Big third-quarter stretch for Lopez helped turn a halftime deficit into a lead, and he kept his shot portfolio is as diversified as a center can get: Lopez hit floaters, jumpers, hooks, and layups en route to another high-octane offensive night, capping it with a crunch-time floater and two big defensive stops. His touch is impossible to deny.
The argument that anyone else is Brooklyn’s best player gets harder and harder to make with each passing 30-point every night.